Friday, September 15, 2006

My Top 5: Movies That Scared Me The Most

(Or, Movies That Made Me Nearly Pee In My Pants From Fear)

I said "nearly," and I mean "nearly." Honest.

Autumn is near. More than any other season, the Fall brings with it an intangible sorta vibe that floods me with specific imagery, and memories.

Corn for example. Usually, I hate the sight of corn! (Tip o' the hat to my Des Moines buddies.) But for some reason--maybe because of some Freudian attraction to Pilgrims--I love the vegetable during Autumn. Can't get enough of the stuff.

But another thing I can't get enough of during Fall is movies. Scary movies in particular. Not the slasher-sort of flick where kids get killed while camping, nor those movies that are more snuff films than art. Nope...I'm talking about movies that send a chill down my spine by using interesting stories, atypical plot themes and great acting. Good special effects--even gore, if it is integral to the plot, and not gratuitous--add greatly to the experience.Scary movies affect me emotionally, and usually for a long time. Some of them have even influenced small aspects of my life. When I was a kid, for instance, I slept with blankets wrapped around my neck to prevent being bitten by vampires. I recall: (1) knowing there were no real vampires; (2) knowing that if there were real vampires, a mere blanket wouldn't stop the assault; and (3) cramming the blanket tight between my shoulder and neck anyway. Just in case...
The power of film.

So, simply because it's Autumn, here are the
5 Movies That Scared Me The Most. In no particular order of fright-dom:
Rosemary's Baby: This flick made me scared--to this day--of two things. First, chicks with really short hair. Second, new neighbors. Anytime I move into a new community, I fear my neighbors are witches or Satanists who will reel me in with their faux friendliness only to use me, ultimately, for evil.

The Howling: Except for the final few minutes, when the female lead turns into a Yorkshire terrier-styled werewolf, The Howling kicked ass from beginning to (almost) end. Because of this movie, anytime I move into a new community, I fear my neighbors are werewolves who will reel me in...Well, nevermind.

An American Werewolf In London: When this movie came out in theaters, I couldn't watch the thing straight through. But, I did later on VHS. (I'm such a sissy.) It wasn't the gore as much as it was the complete loss of control and despair experienced by the lead character. Scary stuff.
I guess werewolves were big in the early 80s.

Nosferatu: Recall my earlier compulsion to stuff blankets around my neck to keep vampires from gettin' to the jugular?

Halloween III-Season Of The Witch
: Although this movie had a Halloween title, it wasn't really related to the earlier flicks of the same name. In this one, a toymaker plots to use Halloween masks to kills millions of kids and release some black magic mumbo jumbo. I forget the actual plot, but the damn movie scared the bejesus outta me back in the day.

You gotta list of your own? Now that I've made mine, I may need to dig out my blankie...


eclectic guy said...

Good list. Some tough choices I've got to make.

Kudos to mentioning Season of the Witch. My wife and I watch this little beauty every Halloween. Kind of a crazed Eclectic Guy family tradition. Most fans of the horror genre cannot get past the "Halloween" part of it and see the film for the creeptastic cinema that it is. Love every frame.

Stanton said...

The story of what happened to Mia Farrow's real-life child is much scarier.

Other than the original "Halloween" movie, I can never remember being scared by a movie ("Halloween" was the first movie of its kind I had seen and I hadn't yet developed an immunity to the sudden shock scenes that now are so ho-hum).

Books get to me more than movies. I slept with the lights on for a week after reading Stephen King's "Jerusalem's Lot."

The Film Geek said...

Eclectic Guy: Wow...I can still see those snakes and stuff slithering out of those horrific masks....ugh!

Stanton: Regarding the Woody Allen and Mia Farrow's kid...I had forgotten about that! ...ugh!

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm definitely with you on Rosemary's Baby .. I don't think there's any horror movie that works better to just scare teh bejesus out of you on a purely psychological level

The Film Geek said...

True, fanatic. It is a true classic, and a movie that works on so many levels. I hope they never re-make it...

JDB said...

Speaking of Nosferatu, have you seen Shadow of the Vampire? It's a fictional(?) account of the making of Nosferatu that works under the theory that Max Schreck (the monster) actually was a vampire. Some really interesting stuff.

The Film Geek said...

I have seen Shadow Of The Vampire. It was interesting work by the always brilliant Willem Dafoe.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge horror flick are some of my favorites:

1. The Exorcist
2. 28 days later
3. The Blair Witch Project
4. The Amityville Horror
5. The Shining
6. Nightmare on Elm Street
7. Pet Cemetery
8. Carrie
9. Psycho
10. The Fly

Mrs. Film Geek

The Film Geek said...

I forgot about The Fly!

Hey, nice I know you?

Off Route 75 said...

LOL. You don't owe me an apology, since I didn't really think you were trying to steal my "thunder" or anything like that.

...But you do owe me that $50 from 2000 when we bet on some football games. When you gonna hook me up with that? ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm with Mrs. FG! Great list. I would add Cape Fear,and A Clockwork Orange, although not horror films.

"Sometimes dead is bettah"